Hotel Sale Could Give the Watergate a Lift
Say the word "Watergate" and everyone thinks Richard Nixon and Deep Throat. But in Washington, it has another meaning: It used to be the classiest address in town.
For more than 40 years, the curvy complex on the Potomac -- a hotel, offices and three apartment buildings -- has been home to A-listers (Condoleezza Rice, Alan Greenspan, Robert McNamara, John Warner, Mstislav Rostropovich) lured by its luxury shops and restaurants and its proximity to the Kennedy Center.
The Watergate still boasts such big names as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Plácido Domingo, as well as Bob and Elizabeth Dole. But in the past decade, things have gone downhill -- hotel shuttered, retailers disappeared, mice moved in -- which is why Tuesday's hotel sale is such a big deal. "Everyone is looking forward to this auction," said socialite Tandy Dickerson, who's lived in the Watergate for 35 years. "We will be very helpful in showing them how to make it first-class again."
The place was a VIP magnet when it opened in 1965, and later attracted Nixon officials including John and Martha Mitchell, and the president's secretary, Rose Mary Woods. (Strange coincidence: The first major burglary at the complex was a jewelry theft in Woods's apartment.)
The Republicans fled the Watergate after the 1972 break-in at DNC headquarters, but returned when Ronald Reagan's pals -- Lee Annenberg, Charles Wick, Betsy Bloomingdale -- moved in.
Fewer big-name Democrats settled there, but it was a woman in Bill Clinton's life who created the biggest stir: Monica Lewinsky.
The former intern retreated to her mother's Watergate apartment when her affair with the president went public, and dozens of reporters camped outside the complex. When Lewinsky moved out, she slipped handwritten notes under neighbors' doors: "I wanted to apologize for the inconveniences of the past nine months. ... I hope you all know how very sorry I am that so much attention was brought to the building."
Posted by: GaryEMasters | July 21, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pkm3444 | July 21, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: krasni | July 21, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jagdoctor | July 21, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.